Streetcar committee to recommend line stops at UMKC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Staff of the streetcar advisory committee will recommend on Tuesday expanding the streetcar line along three of eight studied routes.

Vince Gauthier, director of planning for architecture firm BNIM, told a Brookside neighborhood group that the committee would recommend expanding east along Independence and Linwood avenues and south along Main Street, but only as far as the University of Missouri- Kansas City.

The decision not to expand the streetcar line further south into Brookside is a victory for its vocal opponents there who worried the line would change the character of the neighborhood and objected to projected tax increases that would come with being a part of the Transportation Development District surrounding the streetcar line.

Gauthier said the TDD would allow for a sales tax increase of up to one cent in the area it encompasses and a "special assessment" property tax increase of an estimated $133 per year, per $100,000 of a home's value if that home was within a certain distance of the streetcar line. The tax would affect businesses and nonprofits, too.

More than 80 people packed a meeting of the Greenway Fields Homes Association on Monday night to hear Gauthier's presentation and pepper him with questions.

Kansas City council members John Sharp and Jan Marcason confirmed Gauthier's statements about the planned recommendations and said a special joint session of the council's planning and zoning and infrastructure and transportation committees would meet Thursday to discuss them.

The original streetcar plan from Union Station to downtown runs through Marcason's 4th district. The proposed southern expansion into Brookside would enter Sharp's 6th district.

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